The Gasol Foundation promotes the development of the 1st Spanish National Strategic Plan for the Reduction of Childhood Obesity together with the Government of Spain
The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez; the High Commissioner against Child Poverty, Ernesto Gasco; and the co-founder of the Gasol Foundation, Pau Gasol, presented the cross-cutting plan to reduce childhood obesity by 25% by 2030.
- The Gasol Foundation has acted as a strategic ally in the development of the Plan, and its coordination has been carried out by the High Commissioner against Child Poverty. In addition, 15 ministries, 18 scientific institutions, 13 third sector organizations and 25 associations and federations that have represented the economic sector have participated.
- Spain leads all countries of the European Union in child excess weight: 4 out of 10 girls and boys are obese or overweight.
- In addition, obesity has doubled in girls and adolescents in the last 20 years.
- The National Strategic Plan for the Reduction of Childhood Obesity adopts a transversal, multilevel and holistic vision to reverse one of the main health challenges of the 21st century.
Spain has a plan to reduce childhood obesity by 25% over the next 8 years. Last Friday, June 10, Pau Gasol, president of the Gasol Foundation (foundation of the brothers Pau and Marc Gasol whose mission is to prevent childhood obesity) participated in the presentation of the National Strategic Plan for the Reduction of Childhood Obesity. The foundation worked jointly with President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, the High Commissioner for the fight against child poverty, Ernesto Gasco, and a representation of various ministries, third sector organizations and associations. In addition, in this event also participated María Neira, director of Public Health and the Environment of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The National Strategic Plan for the Reduction of Childhood Obesity lays the foundations for all stakeholders in society to act against this problem by following the four pillars of healthy living habits: physical activity and sports, healthy eating, sleep and emotional well-being. The Gasol Foundation has acted as a strategic ally in the preparation of the plan, hand in hand with the High Commissioner for the fight against child poverty, who has assumed its coordination. In addition, 15 ministries, 18 scientific institutions, 13 third sector organizations and 25 associations and federations representing the economic sector have participated.
“This National Strategic Plan for the Reduction of Childhood Obesity represents a before and after in the history of our country and is a turning point for all children and adolescents in Spain”, commented the president of the Gasol Foundation Pau Gasol. “Spain has all the conditions to become a world leader in the prevention of childhood obesity and in the promotion of healthy habits with strategic policies and leading by example.”
An alliance for the comprehensive well-being of children
The need for a project of this magnitude is made clear by the results of various studies such as the ALADINO 2019 by AESAN, according to which 4 out of 10 children between the ages of 6 and 9 (40 .6%) in Spain are overweight or obese (23.3% overweight and 17.3% obese). These figures are complemented by those of the PASOS 2019 study by the Gasol Foundation, which establishes 32.5% excess weight for adolescents (from 12 to 16 years old) and reveals a clear increase in obesity (specifically double) in girls and adolescents in the last 20 years.
On the other hand, there are physiological, psychological and social consequences that affect families living in vulnerable situations, who have a higher prevalence of this problem. Specifically, childhood obesity doubles for boys and girls in households with less income.
In the context of this reality, the President of the Government confirmed that the Plan “will have priority consideration in the General State Budgets” and in the regional and local budgets, and “the private sector will collaborate in the development of actions, since it will be declared an Exceptional Event of Public Interest.” The National Strategic Plan for the Reduction of Childhood Obesity has more than 200 measures that will be developed along 6 strategic lines:
- Generate a social ecosystem that promotes physical activity and sports.
- Generate a social ecosystem that promotes healthy eating.
- Generate a social ecosystem that promotes emotional well-being and adequate rest.
- Strengthen public systems to promote healthy lifestyles.
- Guarantee the protection of children’s health.
- Create a cultural shift towards healthy lifestyles.
Most of the measures included in the plan are structural and are aimed at converting the environments in which children grow into health-promoting environments.
Participants such as María Neira, director of Public Health and the Environment of the World Health Organization (WHO); chef Joan Roca, patron of the Gasol Foundation; and Teresa Perales, Paralympic swimming record holder, help improve the visibility of the Plan.
The Gasol Foundation, a strategic ally of the Plan
The Pau and Marc Gasol Foundation has been part of the process of drawing up the Strategic Plan for the Reduction of Childhood Obesity since its inception, which was born as a result of the meeting held last October between Pau Gasol, and the Gasol Foundation team, with the President of the Government Pedro Sánchez and the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias.
The Gasol Foundation has coordinated with the High Commissioner for the Fight against Child Poverty to contribute, with its knowledge and experience in the field of childhood obesity, so that the plan has a transversal, multilevel and holistic approach. The involvement of the foundation has made it possible to emphasize the evaluation aspect and indicators of the plan, which will make it possible to know, in the year 2030, if the objectives of reducing excess weight in childhood by 25% and a 40% shrinking of the associated social gap have been achieved, among other lifestyle indicators. In addition, the multidisciplinary team of health professionals from the Gasol Foundation has participated in all the sessions for the multilateral creation of the plan, and has contributed to the revisions of the final document.
This Plan represents a turning point in the history of the childhood obesity epidemic in Spain and a change in trend in the face of the growing deterioration in the population’s health habits in recent decades. From now until 2030 growing up healthy will start to be easier and more accessible for all girls and boys.